43 ‘You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
We have all at one time or another been wounded or humiliated by the words or actions of another and let’s be honest to bear a grudge after an experience like that is entirely natural and we need to be realistic about it. The problem it presents for the disciples of Jesus though, is that we are not to be ruled by the old nature but to live by the Spirit and that means a whole different outlook on life. In the light of God’s grace Jesus calls us his followers to do something extremely hard, to pray for those who may belittle us, abuse us or in some way harm us.
If you think that’s unrealistic few would argue with you but as we begin to pray for enemies something unexpected happens, our own hearts are changed before theirs and we find it difficult to hate those we are praying for since it’s impossible to pray for their blessing and at the same time plot their downfall. This is not natural, of course not, it’s supernatural and possible only with the Holy Spirit’s help.
PRAYER: Lord as one who has experienced your love and known your grace you call me, a follower of Jesus to do something that is almost impossible, to pray for and do good to those who have hurt me. It is much easier for me to continue to live in animosity and harbour feelings of revenge and in that way to gratify the sinful nature and nurse my wounded pride. Since however, I am to walk as Jesus walked help me Lord, fill me with the Spirit’s power and enable me, as one loved by you, to forgive others and pray for them with a sincere heart. AMEN